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Politeness

Cubans are a mostly a mixture of Spanish and African traditions and roots, but they are also influenced by Chinese, Arab, French and Italian cultures. All these inheritances have marked Cubans and their behavior.

The heterogeneity of the character of those born on the island is evidenced in their happiness, their wide sense of humor, their vivacity, their solidarity, their emotions, their hospitality and talkativeness. For them everything can be solved and they even make fun of daily and most serious problems. Their relationships tend to be extroverted, talkative and humorists.

The most common form of greeting is with a kiss on the cheek; the handshake is only used between men or in very formal circumstances. It customary, when addressing Cubans, to use the formal “Usted”(you) instead of the less formal “tu”(you) which is only used is very familiar relationships. The word "Compañero"(partner) has a political connotation, which is why it’s used between countrymen.

Climate and wardrobe

The climate in Cuba allows us to spend the whole day on the street. With a subtropical, warm and humid atmosphere all year round. There are two distinct seasons: the dry one, from November to April; and the rain one, from May to October, although it doesn't mean that it rains every day during this time.

From November to April, the variations in the climate become more noticeable, with abrupt changes in the daily weather associated to the occurrence of frontal systems (known by Cubans as "cold fronts") due to an anticyclone influence of continental origins and extra tropical low pressures centers. The territory is influenced in this season by a strong mass of cold air coming from the north that provokes lower temperatures than usual. On the contrary, from May to October there are few variations in the weather, with the less or more perceptible influence of the north Atlantic anticyclone. The most important changes are linked to the presence of waves from the east and tropical hurricanes.

With these previously mentioned climatological characteristics it is recommended to wear fresh and light clothing, preferably made out of cotton or similar fabrics. The informal clothes (jeans, short, T-shirt, etc.) can be worn to almost all places. Nevertheless it is not appropriate for theaters, elegant restaurants, concerts halls, businesses meetings and such places.

Social behavior and relationship with foreigners

The Cubans are characterized by their tolerance, but their customs are rather conservative. Nudism and topless are prohibited in some beaches and recreational areas. It is not dangerous for women to travel alone, although they are sometimes forced to stand constant offers of "help" from men, which are not difficult to dissuade in case they are not welcomed.

Camping is an activity that is very controlled by Cuban touristic corporations. It is forbidden, throughout the whole island, to camp outside of the permitted areas. It can only be done in the specified locations prepared for that activity. 

The travelers with disabilities have all the necessary conditions for their mobility all through the island. Most of the hotels, airports and tourist places have specially conceived handicap areas.

Cuba is a country that stands out for its safeness, one of the safest countries in the world. It is not a problem to ask for directions or help from anyone. All through the whole country, there are policemen who can offer attendance or advice.

 

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